Ericsson and Mediacom to launch rural broadband using CBRS

Ericsson, Mediacom employ CBRS for rural FWA

31 AUG 2021
Ericsson FWA

US cable operator Mediacom Communications oultined plans to launch fixed wireless access (FWA) internet service using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, creating a new option for broadband in rural areas.

Mediacom will use Ericsson’s 4G and 5G CBRS radio equipment. In a statement, the pair explained the kit will allow the cable operator to offer high-speed internet services up to nine miles from each tower location.

The cable company spent $29 million for 576 licences in a CBRS spectrum auction. Larger rivals Comcast and Charter Communications were also big winners, but as MVNO players they are expected to use their spectrum to support mobile broadband.

By using its spectrum for FWA internet service, Mediacom Communications is moving into an area already targeted by mobile operators.

Verizon and T-Mobile US are both investing in 5G FWA, but are not focusing exclusively on rural customers.

Mediacom Communications stated it will launch the service “in areas of the country that need it the most”. The cable operator has customers in 22 states and its FWA service will launch within its existing footprint.

Ericsson described its work with Mediacom Communications as a “game changer” which will “close the digital divide in numerous underserved rural areas”.

The vendor added it is committed to supporting national, state and local initiatives to close the digital divide.

So far, most US government subsidies meant to support broadband have gone to fixed operators rather than wireless, with satellite ISP Starlink a notable exception.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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